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BART Sued by Companion of Oscar Grant

By Minara El-Rahman on January 12, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The man who was with Oscar Grant the night he was shot to death by a BART transit police officer has filed a lawsuit against Bay Area Rapid Transis (BART). BART is already facing a host of civil rights lawsuits by the family of Oscar Grant as well as the other men who were detained with him.

As discussed in our previous posts about Oscar Grant, Mr. Grant was fatally shot by a BART transit officer on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, CA just over a year ago. Mr. Grant was unarmed. BART claimed that the officer mistook his firearm for a taser gun. The whole incident was captured on video by a passenger and uploaded on to Youtube.

The SFGate reports that Mr. Johntue Caldwell has filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit against BART. The lawsuit centers around federal civil rights that Mr. Caldwell alleges were violated by BART transit officers. Mr. Caldwell claims that he was abused by BART transit police officer Marysol Domenici shortly before his companion Oscar Grant was shot in the back. He claims that the officer forced Mr. Caldwell on the ground, threatened to tase him, pointed the Taser to his face, and used racial slurs to address him. His attorneys claim that he was "mentally and emotionally injured."

BART's attorney, Mr. Dale Allen says that the men were rightfully detained after starting a fight on the train. He also told SFGate that Mr. Caldwell has a "significant criminal history." He thought it was sad that an individual would try to make a quick buck off of a sad accident. He told SFGate: "This is a frivolous lawsuit by someone trying to ride the coattails of a tragedy."

While that may be BART's position, we'll see what the court system has to say.

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